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 Post subject: World seed: Navabharata
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:04 pm
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Location: Oz.
Navabharata is a large, warm, planet that rotates rather rapidly. Its tropics are too hot for human habitation and are lefts to the perfervid riot of native life; its temperate zones too are very warm, and are swept by strong winds and violent storms. Human habitation is confined to the north and south polar regions, which have noticeable but unimportant cultural differences between them. The season in most inhabited places include a season of midnight sun rather than a summer and a season of twilight or semi-darkness, but even the dark season is not cold enough for snow to be common.

Politically, Navabharata is comminuted into over a thousand small aristocratic states, each ruled by a small clan of gods that are as closely related to the neighbouring pantheons as to one another. Young gods are pampered and intensely educated (with the aid of teaching robots) to mid-adolescence, at which point they are sent by their families off-world (usually, to a high-tech central world such as Tau Ceti) for vocational training at a university there and for heavy (but mostly cosmetic) body-modification. They come back as young adults with advanced professional degrees and "obviously divine" physical features such as blue or green skin, pelts, parrots' heads, extra arms, wings, scales etc. etc. Gods of health, agriculture, justice, war etc. provide professional services, technical expertise, and managerial leadership to the commoners in their domains. But in return they expect divine honours and complete, pious obedience. Noblesse oblige, but commoners exist for the comfort and pleasure of the gods. Gods marry other gods, often from neighbouring and sometimes from distant pantheons. They never marry commoners; the bastard children of goddesses by common lovers are raised as divine, those of gods are not. As they gain experience and seniority they advance to the high councils of their pantheons, eventually perhaps to be elected chief of the gods.

It is hard to tell whether the commoners truly consider their rulers divine, supernatural. They say they do, but its not clear what they mean by the words. Similarly, they agree that gods are turned into gods by training and surgery off-world, but it's not clear whether they consider that mundane or supernatural. In their situation it is not wise to deny the divinity of their rulers, and the commoners of Navabharata adhere to a policy of gently-smiling inscrutability.

Physical culture is involute: everything is beautifully or at least elaborately designed and decorated. The way of life of the commoners is simple but secure; that of the gods astonishingly sybaritic. Among the seams on the underside of life in Navabharata is that people who suffer an unbearable humiliation or loss of status often go on murderous rampages in which they attempt to kill as many people as they can before the gods of vengeance kill them. Another is the custom of ritually killing and communally eating a chief god who has become infirm or unlucky. Differently domains have different customs surrounding this, including every variation on tests of fitness, fixed terms in office, the flight of the king, substitutory sacrifice, etc.

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